The pandemic has affected our schedules dramatically, with many of us working from home while juggling household and family duties. It has also meant that many of us no longer have our daily in-person connections with friends and colleagues, which may leave us feeling isolated. I am starting a Challenge Series that will help you (and me!) achieve our goals. The first in this series is the Self Care Challenge because if you are not engaging in enough daily self care, you won’t have the energy to accomplish other goals, right?
The best way to address self care is to begin the day with a skincare routine. It doesn’t have to be extensive. In fact, I have a quick morning skincare routine that involves a one-minute face brushing to stimulate and release toxins from the lymphatic system, cleansing, applying toner and applying moisturizer.
Challenge: Cleanse, tone and moisturize your face each morning.
Healthy eating doesn’t just mean abstaining from eating potato chips or ice cream. It means eating regularly and eating balanced meals with protein, vegetables and some carbs. Whether you’re following a Keto, Paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free diet, a Vegan lifestyle, or even intermittent fasting, you’ll want to make sure you are eating balanced meals at the same time each day.
Challenge: Ensure that each of your meals is balanced with protein, vegetables (or fruit) and carbs.
Delegate/Ask for Help
You might wonder why asking for help is part of this self care challenge? In Kate Northrup’s book, Do Less, she advises that women, especially working mothers, feel they have to do everything, otherwise, they feel guilty. But this philosophy is resulting in many women feeling burnt out. Northrup encourages women to pare down their to-do lists to three or four essential items each day. If there is something on your list that someone else could be doing, ask for help, delegate the task or pay someone else to do it.
I am terrible at asking for help! I am one of the women who believe she can do it all. During the pandemic, especially early on, I started paying for grocery delivery service when I just didn’t feel like lining up to do groceries. That made a huge difference to me and reduced my stress level so that I could focus on other important things.
Challenge: Ask for help (from your spouse, parent, friend, colleague or subordinate) or pay someone else to do one of the items on your to-do list.
Time for Yourself
No matter how busy you are, you should really take some time out for yourself each day. If you are a workaholic and don’t take time for yourself, ask yourself, “Why am I doing all of this work?” And if you followed the above tip about delegating or asking for help, that should provide you with a window of time for yourself. You can devote this time to meditating, yoga, going for a walk or run, reading, knitting, crafting, playing a musical instrument, singing…you get the idea. This break will really energize you so that you can continue with your workday.
Challenge: Spend 30 minutes each day pursuing your favourite hobby.
According to experts, adults need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep each night. But now new research is indicating that non-REM sleep is much more restorative than REM sleep. Non-REM sleep occurs during the earlier part of the evening, therefore, it may be beneficial to get to bed by 9:30 or 10 p.m. each night to take advantage of more non-REM sleep.
Of course, there are other factors that affect your sleep including whether you have been on your cell or watching TV just before bed. The blue light emitted by these devices suppresses melatonin, which is needed to help promote sleep.
And if you are not sleeping on comfortable pillows or your duvet is too flat and not providing enough warmth, you’ll want to replace those. You can
get 10% off Canadian Down pillows, duvets and mattress toppers (valid for 2020 and 2021) by using code: SLEEP10-ROIVNG here –> Canadian Down & Feather Company.
Challenge: Turn off your cellphone, tablet, laptop and TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed. (I have to work on this one myself!)
I hope you enjoyed this self care challenge. Let me know how you are doing with it in the comment section.